Sunday, 31 October 2010

Multicultural measuring cups

Some of my recipes use cup measurements rather than weights. I'm a big fan of measuring cups as they are so easy to use (and are great when you've got the kids helping in the kitchen).

Confusingly an American cup holds 237ml and a metric cup (used in Australia, Canada and the UK) holds 250ml. Just to be different, I use a 200ml measuring cup for my recipes, as that's the size of the one which came with my bread maker...after some careful research (OK I Googled) I have found that this turns out to be a Japanese cup!

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Saturday, 30 October 2010

Cheese Eyeballs and Witches' Fingers for Halloween

Cheese Eyeballs and Witches' Fingers
I've just made these cheesy horrors with my kids for our Halloween party. They're very easy to children to help make (think of it as cheesy playdough!) and taste great too. If your kids won't eat anything that's been near an olive, you could always cut out pieces of red or green pepper and use those instead of the olives.

Makes about 20 (double mixture to make a large batch). 
  • 2 cups of grated reduced-fat mature cheddar cheese - or any other hard cheese.
  • ½ cup sunflower spread/butter
  • 1 cup plain flour or gluten-free flour
  • 1 tsp paprika or ½ tsp English mustard powder
  • 100g/4oz pimento stuffed olives 
Cut 5 olives in half width-ways for the eyes and cut 3 into quarters long-ways for the nails.
Mix the cheese, sunflower spread, flour and paprika/mustard together (in a food processor if have one). Add a tiny drop of milk or cold water if needed, so that you have a firm dough.

Divide the dough into about 20 pieces and roll into balls. Form half of the balls into eye shapes and press a dent into each using your finger. 
Then press half an olive into each dent (so that the olive looks like the iris/pupil).
Roll the other half into finger shapes and press a quarter of an olive onto the end of each finger to form the nail.

Place on a greased baking sheet and bake at 210C/200C Fan/Gas 7/425F for about 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
If you have some red food colouring, paint on some veins and allow to dry. Serve warm or cold.

Suitable for freezing.

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Quote of the day...from a pack of butter!

I opened up a new pack of spreadable Lurpak this morning, in readiness to smother my breakfast toast in buttery and Marmitey goodness. I was stopped in my tracks by the profound quote on the inner paper lid-type thing!

"Pride - Something you don't find in a ready meal" it proclaimed. How true, I thought as I munched on my toast. Pin It

Friday, 29 October 2010

Spooky Chocolate Biscuits

These biscuits can be made into different shapes and decorated with icing for different occasions. I've scoured the local shops for Halloween cookie cutters (I should've been more organised and ordered them in advance from Amazon!) so we're making round cookies with a spider's web design iced on.
This recipes makes around 25 biscuits.
  • 250g/10oz plain flour
  • 50g/2oz cocoa
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 175g/7oz spreadable butter/sunflower spread (not the low fat stuff unless you want soggy biscuits!)
  • 175g/7oz soft brown sugar
  • 1 medium egg
Cream the butter and sugar and beat in the egg.
Mix in the dry ingredients until you have a soft, but not sticky dough. If the dough is sticky just add in a bit more flour.
Chill the dough for 30-60 minutes.
Roll out on a floured board and cut into shapes.
Place on a greased baking sheet and cook for 12-15 minutes at 180C/Gas 4.
Cook on a wire rack.

When cool, decorate with icing.

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Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Remember, remember the 5th of November (and the 31st of October!)

This year, we're throwing a joint Halloween and Bonfire Night party for friends and family. The kids will be helping me prepare various tasty treats and buffet foods in advance (recipes to follow) to avoid a last minute panic on Saturday.

We've bought our pumpkins ready for carving. There are lots of Jack O'Lantern designs you can print off and trace onto your pumpkin if you're not feeling up to carving freehand. I love this site on extreme pumpkin carving too!

Eat, drink and be scary! Pin It

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Easy Bread Pudding

This is my mum's tried and tested recipe for bread pudding  It's a simple recipe which kids can help make. Bread pudding is a great way to use up left over bread, it's low(ish) in fat and it's very economical to make.
  • 8 oz/225 g stale bread, broken into pieces
  • ½ pt/300 ml cold water
  • 3 oz/75 g soft brown sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 oz/100 g mixed dried fruit
  • ¼ pt/150 ml milk
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tbsp demerara sugar to sprinkle
Put the bread in a bowl and add the cold water.
Allow to soak for at least 1 hour.
Drain the bread and squeeze out the water, using your hands.
Mix the bread with the rest of the ingredients (except the demerara sugar).
Pour into a greased square baking tin.
Cook at 170C/160C Fan/Gas 3 for around 60 minutes until firm to the touch and brown on top.
Sprinkle with the demerara sugar while warm. 
Allow to cool in the tin, before cutting into squares. Serve warm or cold.

Suitable for freezing.
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Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Virgin Atlantic...haven't you heard of vegetarian kids? - Disney World Discussion Forums
We recently booked our dream holiday to Disneyworld :-)

It was great to see 3 different vegetarian/vegan options for adults' in flight meals, but it was rather disappointing that there was no veggie option for kids' meals. I emailed Virgin and was told that they don't do a kids' veggie meal at all! I then had to request adults' meals for them instead. They have conirmed my request, but I'll be taking food onboard for them just incase these meals don't appear.
For the price we've paid for the flights, I expect Jamie Oliver to have cooked for us at the very least!!! Pin It

Monday, 18 October 2010

Pumpkin/squash Soup

This is a lovely warming soup, great for Halloween and bonfire night.
  • Half a small eating pumpkin or squash, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 2 sticks of celery, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 litre/1 ¾ pt vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated or ½ tsp cumin (optional)
  • Black pepper to taste  
  • 1-2 tbsp double cream (optional)
Fry the onion and garlic gently in a little butter or olive oil.
Add the pumpkin/squash and celery.
Stir in the stock, ginger/cumin and pepper.
Bring to the boil and simmer for 20-30 mins.
Blend, until smooth.
Stir in 1-2 tbsp double cream before serving (optional)

Suitable for freezing.

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Hello and welcome to my first post on my first blog!
I've started this blog as a way to share recipes, tips and ideas with other vegetarian, vegan (and non-veggie) families who like tasty home-cooked food. Most of my recipes will be quick and cheap to make, and will be ideal for busy parents on a budget.

I'll also be printing off my favourite family recipes, to make a recipe book for my kids to take with them when they leave home!

If you have any ideas, recipes or resources to share please feel free to post them. Pin It


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